Hey. HI blog world! It’s me, Morgan.
Call me a weirdo, but I’ve always LOVED birth stories. For years, I’ve been reading other peoples stories with this just..total fascination and maybe it’s because I’m just a super emotional person, but the whole thing is just the most beautiful almost, “love story” ever. (Also, I just love all the details because I’m also super nosy, haha!) I always knew I wanted to share my own story someday, so I’m excited to write this out. But fair warning it may get REALLY LONG, but I want to remember every single detail, so not holding back.
...but if you’re nosy like me, you won’t mind, right?
SO I guess let me start I guess back around 36/37 weeks because I think what most people are curious about is why I had a planned c-section in the first place. First of all, when I went in for I believe it was my 35 week appointment, it was just a “belly check” so no poking around or anything, but I expressed concern to my doctor that I felt like the babys head was to my left side and she agreed that it felt like babe was really high and sort of sideways. (“Transverse,” which I only know because I googled the shit out of it afterwards.) So she scheduled a sonogram for the following week to check on things and we sort of began the conversation about IF she was breech, what the options were. And even then I was like, “yeah, c-section is totally fine with me” because if I’m being honest, I always had this GUT feeling that I’d have a c-section someday so mentally I had thought it over already, and part of me even wanted one, which I will get to in a minute. BUT turns out she either went head down, or was never head up in the first place (or at least the week before), so being breech wasn’t an issue, but the sonographer went, “I’ll tell you what though, she’s not a very big baby..” At 36 weeks she was measuring more like 34, so from there we were scheduled a sonogram every week to make sure she was growing, check fluid, that she was “practice breathing,” etc. And even though she was on the smaller side, her growth was consistent and everything with me was looking just fine. But at my 37 week appointment, the Doctor finally checks me (CHECKS as in...you know) and goes, “WOW. Were you a gymnast?” And I was like, “…yes.” (Not like an Olympic gymnast or even really that great, but I was a gymnast/competitive cheerleader.) And with all seriousness and concern she barely skipped a beat and goes, “want my honest opinion Morgan? It’s very likely you’re going to need a c-section. Your pelvis is TIGHT.” And she explained how I wasn’t dialating, my cervix wasn’t doing anything, and basically baby was probably not even going to be able to “drop” because my pelvis just wouldn’t allow it. Which explains why it felt like I was literally carrying her up in my boobs, haha. So I looked over at John who nodded his head and I was like, “yeah, let’s do it.” And I don’t want this to get all controversial, and it’s a big part of the reason I wanted to keep it a secret from everyone, but really – my biggest fear has always been labor. Like I said, I’ve read and watched tons and tons of birth stories, and I know how it goes sometimes. Throughout my pregnany I kept joking that my birth plan was to have my water break, get the epidural ASAP and then take a nap until it was time to have a baby. Things that terrified me about labor; pain…hours and hours of pain, tearing, cutting/episiotomies (like makes me pass out thinking about it even though a c-section IS cutting), basically anything that has to do with hurting that whole area, and really, just the uncertainty of it. Like you NEVER know how it will go. You go into labor, or get induced and it could go 1,000 different ways. You get a c-section, there’s a process and a plan and a date and I liked the idea of that, a lot. But it’s not one of those things I feel like you can tell people, especially other Moms. Like, “yeah..I don’t actually want to birth a child through my vagina...” In the world of empowering women to be strong and do hard things, it would seem like I was cheating or something. And also I’ve heard WAY too many horror stories about c-sections, so I definitely didn’t want to share that I had a planned c-section and then get a flood of messages telling me bad experiences or that I should try to labor on my own and see what happens. I didn’t want to see what would happen. And when I even asked my doctor what would happen if I went into labor before our scheduled date she was like, “you wont.” Like she was that SURE that my pelvis was just not going to open up, and said she wouldn’t even encourage me to try because I’d be that person in labor for three days with failure to progress and then end up with my c-section anyways, only difference was, it’d be like running a marathon beforehand.
So she gave us the go for anytime after 39 weeks so I picked May 1st, which put me at 39 weeks 1 day and I chose 7:30AM which was the first surgery slot available. I didn't want to think about it any longer, and honestly, even though my pregnancy was easy, I was over it and so ready to finally meet our girl. So we left with some simple instructions - not to eat past 10, not to drink past midnight, to take a shower the night before and then again in the morning. It was like, no big deal. Like making a dentist appointment, lol. And I liked it that way. We felt really, really good about the decision. But we for sure wanted to keep it to ourselves, which was hard for me because as most of you all know, I’m VERY open. And I felt like I had to try and pretend that I still didn’t know when baby was coming. We didn’t even tell our families until like five days before and made them all promise not to say anything. That’s how serious I was about not letting anyone ruin it for me. I was in a good place and wanted to keep it that way.
The next two weeks went by really fast, and before we knew it, it was Sunday and we were looking at meeting our baby IN THE MORNING. I actually woke up that morning at 7:32 and I couldn't believe that in only 24 hours she’d be out of my belly and into the world! It was wild. We didn’t really do anything special that day, just cleaned the house, finished packing our hospital bags, I got a pedicure and took my last long leisurely pregnant bath. But more than anything we just tried to mentally stay cool and calm about what was about to happen. Around 9, I knew my cut off time for eating was coming, so I ate FOUR pieces of French toast as my “last meal” because that’s what I had been obsessed with the last few weeks of my pregnancy. For some reason I kept thinking about how I would tell her that story someday. How I made French toast for dinner the night before she was born. I don’t know, it's sort of funny to me, lol.
Anyways, I'm surprised I slept at all, but I did and eventually morning came. Or I guess, it was more like the middle of the night because we had to be at the hospital at 5:30 and had an hour drive there. I set a 3:30 alarm but missed it because my phone was on silent, so when I opened my eyes and saw I only had 30 minutes to get ready, I basically jumped out of bed and started scrambling, which in hindsight was probably good because I had no time to start worrying about anything. I took a quick shower thinking how it was the last one with my giant belly, put on a pair of the three leggings that had been my entire wardrobe for the past 6 months, and then some waterproof mascara knowing I was in for a day of lots of tears. John was joking that it felt like we were getting ready to go to the airport with all the “luggage” we had and having to leave so early. We barely left on time because I of course had to curl my hair. I even had to hold the still hot curling iron in the car because I couldn't put it in my bag, and yes, I had to take it with me. Although I didn't actually use it until three days later, haha.
We didn't really talk too much during the drive there, John would occasionally comment on the traffic, and I mostly sang along with every single song that came on the radio in an attempt to distract myself. Even though I was totally fine with having a c-section, it wasn’t like I wasn’t nervous. I was, for sure. It would be my first major surgery, besides getting my wisdom teeth out, and I really didn’t particularly like picturing what was about to happen. In fact, I told my Doctor not to tell me anything about the procedure. Like, “don’t tell me when you’re starting, when the babys coming, nothing.” No play by play needed, lol. So yeah, I was nervous. But I kept reminding myself that the surgery was literally ONE hour of my life and that I wouldn’t feel a thing, so how bad could it be?
So we get to the hospital, and this is the funniest part of our whole story I think. We pull into the parking garage and John goes, "oh no...." and puts his hand to his stomach. APPARENTLY he put a few too many sprinkles of red pepper flakes on his pizza the night before and now had to REALLY use the bathroom. So we run into the hospital because a) we were literally RIGHT on time and I had to check in RIGHT on time, and b) because now John had to REALLY use the bathroom, haha. So we go separate ways, and I actually have no idea where labor and delivery is, so I'm power walking through the hospital trying to find out where to go and when I finally get to the right place, I walk myself right up the nurses counter and go, "HI. I'm here for a 7:30 c-section." And what I find so funny is that is seriously was just like checking into something as simple as a dentist appointment, and also because who checks into the hospital to have a baby like that all alone like that, haha? I started to feel a little self conscious that I was there alone, so for some reason I blurted out, "my husband is here. He's just in the bathroom right now. He's very nervous." And that became like the joke of the morning with the whole staff. Everyone was asking John if he was nervous and he was so confused why, haha.
One last bump pic in the elevator!
So anyways, from the time I checked in, everything went really fast. They took me back to the prep room, had me change right away, which was the moment it finally me like, “oh shit. Here we go.” I put the gown on and I had brought socks but for some reason I didn’t feel like I should wear them, which turned out to be a bad decision. (Morgan of the future, remember this.) They asked me about a million questions, health history, etc. Put an IV in my arm..which only took three tries, but luckily needles don’t really bother me so I kept telling the nurse, “it’s okay, it’s okay.” Everyone who would be present at the surgery came into meet me one at a time which I thought was really cool. (I’m sure you don’t get that with a rushed c-section.) Then a women came in asking about planecta donations and at this point I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the people in and out and how fast the time was going, so I really don’t feel like I was that nice to her, but I agreed to donate my placenta because what the heck else was I going to do with it. (I HAD looked into encapsulation, but decided not to.) So I filled out everything she needed, which was basically five pages of really weird questions like, “have you had intercourse with someone who’s been in prison within the past five years?” And then she needed John to sign off on it, but he was back in the bathroom for the hundredth time, so she stayed with me there making small talk for what seemed like ever, and all I wanted to do was have like 5 minutes alone of quiet time on my phone or something, so I was pretty annoyed at that point, lol. He eventually came back though, signed and we got rid of her. OH and then someone came in and took like not kidding, ten vials of blood, and two were for the damn placenta lady. I was like, thanks. Haha. Really though, that seemed like a lot of blood to be taking before someone’s about to be cut open and bleed even more? But, who knows. I tried not to think about it. And then seriously before we knew it, it was time. John put his outfit on, we took our last picture as non-parents and they wheeled me down the hallway to the OR.
They had me sit down and then the anesthesiologist got to work first and honestly, she was so AMAZING. I am so, so thankful for her being the one there with us that morning. I had heard that getting the spinal was one of the most painful parts of the whole thing, so I was a little nervous for it, but she was so gentle and explained everything she was doing and what she would be doing next and I had another nurse in front of me basically hugging me in place so I’d stay still and while it did hurt a little bit, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And then from there, it was like instant. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling, but it was like my body turned into sand bags. “Heavy” feeling. I was laying down now and I kept trying as hard as I could to move my toes and NOTHING would happen. John came in around this time and all I could keep saying to him was, “this is the weirdest thing!” I also told him about 100 times, NOT to look around because I had made that mistake when I first walked in and saw a tray of tools that I will never be able to unsee, haha. No, really, the first thing I actually said to John when he walked in was, “am I naked?” Because I had felt them moving my legs around and it felt like they were propped open or something, which made me feel REAL exposed now. Obviously, lol. But as uncomfortable as it was to be basically naked in a room full of people, I got over it pretty quickly and got in "the zone." I was cool as a cucumber, which I tend to be in situations like this. And bless our Doctor, she did as told and didn’t give us any heads up when she was going to start or anything, just like we asked. I only knew it was about to begin because they put oxygen tubes in my nose and the anesethiologist was sort of giving clues as to what was going on. Like she kept LOOKING over the curtain and going, “mmhmm. Everything’s looking great” and making little comments like that. I could hear a little bit of chatter going on, but I was really focused on trying NOT to listen. John was sitting down next to me, and he and I just held hands and did that thing were you just rub the other persons hand over and over again. (You know?) And I’ll never forget that detail because it was like we were saying to the other, “it’s okay. You okay?” without actually saying anything at all. Then before I knew it, I heard the tiniest little cry and IMMEDIATELY my eyes filled with tears and I looked over at John and I think I went, “oh my god.” I knew that c-section babies don't always cry at first so I was prepared for that, but nope. She came out with one little cry and it sounds so cliché, but it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. Then someone yelled out “7:48” and I saw her being whisked over to the left of me to the baby station/warmer/whatever it’s called. And from there, she screamed her face off! SO upset at being born, haha. I kept my head turned towards her and just watched this little thing kicking her arms and legs all around and I remember thinking she looked big and that her hair was so dark. She threw me off for a minute with that dark hair because I wasn’t expecting it, even though I had the same dark hair as an infant and we knew from her sonograms that she had a lot of hair. John was still sitting next to me, and I gave him a few minutes before I was like, “ GO TAKE PICTURES OF THE BABY” because I knew it was probably super overwhelming for him too, and I also wanted to give them a few minutes to clean her up a bit because John is terrified of blood, lol. But he eventually went over to meet her. And SPEAKING OF PICTURES – that super nice anesthesiologist took our nice camera and shot ALL of these great pictures. I'm not kidding, I am FOREVER grateful for that women. She was an angel! I wasn’t sure about taking my big camera in, but I am so, so glad we did. This might be a lot of photos now, but I just love them all.
Here's my doctor coming to tell me they were all done and that she was glad we went with the c-section because apparently my placenta's cord was on the side and not the top? I really have no idea what the problem with that was, and in the moment I really didn't care.
After what seemed like FOREVER. Like, F-O-R-E-V-E-R, they put little Em back on my chest and we were rolled out of the OR and back into the same room that we started in and the nurses started covering us in heated blankets and put what was basically a blow dryer under the blankets to warm me up. It felt good at first, but then I got really hot and my hair started bothering me and my face was sweating and all I wanted was to get the heck out of that room and away from people.
I asked if I could have some gum, and the nurse told me no, not yet, but John was able to start feeding me ice chips, which was better than nothing but frustrating I remember, lo.l. AND THEN – in an effort to keep this short, let me just skip over the next hour where we did God knows what in that room. I know someone came in and showed me how to breastfeed, but I was really SO EXTREMELY TIRED by this point, I barely remember and know for sure I didn’t retain any of that information because later on it was John who taught me how to breastfeed, haha. So anyways, I don’t remember getting to our recovery room, but I remember the nurses coming in and out and me asking for juice and just so much going on. I drank a tiny apple juice and not too long after I felt super nauseous and voiced concern that I thought I was going to throw up so one of the nurses handed me what was essentially a barf bag, and it all came back up. Now, THAT hurt. Dry heaving an hour after abdominal surgery is not fun. Also not fun is doing this in front of your husband who’s taking care of your brand new baby all on his own because you are a mess, haha. After that, I had no control anymore and totally passed out. I kept waking up and thinking, “I should take the baby” but then I’d fall asleep again. But John was REALLY amazing. The guy who had never before held an infant in his life had that baby alone for probably two hours. HE was actually the one who had to change her first poopy diaper, while I drifted in and out of sleep. (I remember hearing the nurse helping him, but I couldn’t even open my eyes to look over.)
I’m not sure when, or how long it took, but I eventually came to, and the nauesesnes and exhuastaion went away but I still feel like I can’t remember much from that first day. I think there was just a lot going on, and I was also seriously drugged up, so that doesn’t help. I remember some guy came to deliver flowers from Johns parents and thinking he didn’t look like a flower delivery guy. I remember thinking one of the nurses looked so young I was convinced she was a high school student or something there as an intern, lol. I remember weird things like that. And speaking of the nurses, I don’t know if it was just me, or if everyone is that out of it after surgery, but I feel like I really put them to work, haha. The night nurse in particular that first night I called so many times like, “hi. I have to pee. Can you come unhook me from 500 things and walk me to the bathroom?” And speaking of peeing…there were so many things I didn’t know about recovery, and if you already have a baby you probably already know this, but did you know after having a cathedar in, it’s like really, REALLY hard to pee after? It took me FORTY-FIVE minutes and I was seriously worried that I had forgotten how to pee and would never pee again. It was a scary moment, haha. But besides all the exhaustion and the peeing and what not, that first night was hands down one of the best nights of my life. I knew I wasn’t supposed to, but I kept Emily right inside my gown and on my chest almost all night and I just couldn't stop staring at her. I kept thinking about how this was her very first night on earth and I didn’t want to sleep because I didn't want to miss anything. I totally get now how parents just watch their kids sleep. I'm doing it right now as I type this in bed, haha.
John went home Tuesday afternoon and my Mom came to visit for the evening. While she was there, I took my first shower which was another difficult task, and the shower sucked. But it felt good to finally change out of the hospital gown (which I actually ended up loving, open back and all, haha) and wash my face because I still had on that makeup from Monday morning. God bless that waterproof mascara, it held up WELL.
THAT CHIN DIMPLE!
Two words. Room Service. I got to order food three times a day, and at first that didn’t seem like enough because I’m used to eating like 6-7 times a day, but I had (and still sort of have) no appetite since delivering baby. I’d order my food and by the time I was done eating it, I swear it was time to order the next meal. I was basically just eating because I had to eat, which was a first for me. But it was sort of fun, and they had dessert which I took advantage of a few times, of course. And the last night we were there, we got the “stork special” where you get a celebratory dinner for two, and were actually pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t bad.
What else, what else..
I have about a million pictures of John with Emily because, DUH, it’s just the cutest thing in the world to me. He only stayed with us in the hospital for that first night so he would come back out and spend the day, before going home again. Which was totally fine with me because I really didn’t need him during the night. And it was sort of nice to just have that time alone with Emily, even though the second night I think I spent half the night crying because she wouldn’t sleep and I hadn’t napped at all during the day and was just so exhausted. One of the nurses came in while I was crying and I tried not to let her see me, but she did and all she could do was rub my back and say something about it being good for my milk supply, lol. (I loved the nurses, really, but by the end they all started to annoy me.)
Here's our first "walk" around the hospital. They really recommend with a c-section that you get up and walk a few times a day. (Obviously starting the day after surgery, since I was literally hooked up to so many things I had to call for help to walk to the bathroom that first day, lol.) It was sort of a disaster because Emily screamed the whole time and John was walking too fast, and it was funny because that was the first time I was outside of our room, and since I didn't even remember getting wheeled into our room it was like, "oh wow. So this is what the world looks like."
I'm not sure where birth stories are supposed to end, but this is getting like painfully long now, so I'll stop myself. And if you've stuck around and read this far, well then, you're probably a Grandparent at this point, LOL. So let me wrap it up...
We took her home Thursday afternoon. My doctor came by to see me one last time, and I finally remembered to get a picture with her and Emily.
Oh, and something else I never want to forget, John had me DYING laughing when we were packing up to leave. (Super quickly might I add because he was so ready to just get us all home.) And he was going around the room taking all these things that I would have never tried to take with us, like the wipe container that had like, not kidding 10 wipes left in it. I was like, "John, stop stealing everything!" Haha. But he claims we already paid for it all, so it was ours to take. Whatever, lol...
By the way, laughing HURT. It has been really hard to be home with John these past few weeks because he keeps trying to make me laugh and whenever he does, I get so mad and serious like, "STOP IT RIGHT NOW." But back to leaving the hospital...
Our favorite day nurse walked us out to the car, gave me a hug and we were off! Another thing that hurt? CAR RIDES. I sat in the back with Em, who was perfectly asleep the entire time, but I was like, "ow ow, ouch" holding my stomach with one hand and the seat belt with the other so it wasn't actually touching my body. And then because neither of us had lunch yet and because there was NO food at home, we went through the In & Out drive thru for burgers and milkshakes. I still had no appetite, so it took me like two hours to finish my food when we got home, but also because I was sort of overwhelmed to be home. (I'm realizing being overwhelmed is a theme here, lol.) It was weird to be home with this new baby. And I really wasn't feeling well (FYI, C-sections and pain killers causes serious constipation..) on top of now four days of very little sleep. So that first night home was BAD. So bad I wont' even get into it because I don't want to ever re-live it, haha. REALLY, REALLY BAD. But everything seems to get easier every single day. The nights are hard though. I have a breakdown when it hits around 6pm every day because I start to get nervous how the night will go, but we're getting the hang of it. I dont' want to jinx anything...but as I type this, she's been asleep in her bassinet for 30 minutes, AND it's a decent time, so looks like I'll be getting some sleep tonight. At least until my 2.5 hour timer goes off and I have to be up again to nurse...
But maybe the whole "how we're surviving baby" is best saved for another blog post. If I come back here to blog...which I should, but we will see. If I've learned anything so far it's that I definitely do NOT have the time that I used to. In fact, writing this post took me like, ten days! So maybe I'll be back, maybe I won't for a while. But in the mean time, feel free to follow me on Instagram for mini updates daily on our life.
And that is the story of our little Emily Clare! Overall we are really happy with our whole birthing experience, and even though we're exhausted and having a newborn is like the most confusing and sometimes frustrating thing ever, it's also the most amazing thing in the world to look at this beautiful little girl that we created and get to keep forever. We fall more in love with her every single day, and it's crazy how we don't want the time so pass, yet we do because we are so excited to watch her grow.
I can't believe she's really here.
Until next time, xo..